So many of us experience lack of confidence – and it’s easy to see why when we consider how much of modern life revolves around how we look, and our ability to conform to a certain way of being. Constant comparisons on social media, pressure to be ‘perfect’ (whatever that is!) and outrageous beauty standards can all affect the way we see ourselves and how we feel in our own skin.
As a skincare expert I see a lot of clients who might be focusing on what’s on the outside – but I also advocate for a holistic approach when it comes to beauty and health, which includes taking care of our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, too. I love the results we can achieve through the amazing treatments, techniques & products on offer now, and I’m passionate about helping my clients to look and feel good – the focus should be on enhancing our natural appearance, not changing it.
The real glow up is learning to love yourself from within, and finding a beautiful balance between taking care of yourself, and celebrating all that makes you who you are, even your perceived ‘flaws’.
Interestingly (and ironically), the anxiety and stress caused by low confidence or constant comparisons and feelings of inadequacy or ‘ugliness’ can negatively impact on the health of our skin. Stress not only accelerates the ageing process – it can be a factor in the development of conditions like adult acne and eczema as well as being a key trigger for rosacea.
The sad truth is that most people struggle at some level with how they look. That person you admire on social media probably has major insecurities, too – the fact is that we all do it, and all of us have things we dislike about ourselves, or flaws we tend to focus on more than the positives.
When I wrote this list, I wanted it to contain meaningful, effective tips and advice you can actually use to help improve your confidence. Much of the advice that circulates currently is a classic case of ‘easier said than done’. After all, we’ve heard the age-old advice to ‘stop comparing ourselves to others’ or to simply ‘love ourselves just the way we are’ – but frankly it’s bloody difficult and we all do it. It’s like telling someone with anxiety not to worry – it simply doesn’t work!
With that in mind, here are my six top tips for improving self-confidence. These are things I have found to be helpful in my own life, and I hope they’ll be useful to you, too! You can select and see which of these work for you – some may resonate more than others. Many can be incorporated into your daily routine for a habitual boost.
I love positive affirmations and use them myself daily – they’re incredibly powerful, and there are so many to choose from which can be modified to give you the boost you need on any given day. Affirmations work best when they are believable – so choose something that feels true for you and build from there. Some of my personal favourites include:
I can and I will
I value myself. I value my mind, my emotions, my body and my spirit
I choose to be kind to myself
We can become too consumed in our appearance to the point where it affects our mood and outlook as a whole. If this is the case, I suggest indulging in some activities that don’t involve looking at yourself in the mirror. Getting outside in nature, walking barefoot on the grass, baking– whatever works for you! Focus on the good for a while, and you’ll find your outlook can transform very quickly.
Too many of us forfeit the things we love and spend too much time pleasing others and doing things we feel we need to do, not the things we want to do. Practice yoga, move your body, see your friends, treat yourself every once in a while. Identify things that make you happy, then ask yourself how you can do more of them! Your body and mind will thank you.
I highly recommend writing your thoughts down and feeling the relief that comes with getting them out of your head. Whether I’m sad or I’m happy, making that conscious effort to shift that inner voice into something more positive through journaling has been a huge help. Treat yourself to a lovely journal and keep it with you as much as possible – even by your bed at night to help you get a sounder sleep after you empty the thoughts from your mind.
This might sound weird at first, but hear me out. When I need a boost, I’ll simply form my lips into a smile. Whether you’re sat at your desk or making a cup of tea, have a break and take a moment to purposefully force yourself to smile. A great time to do this is when cleansing your face in mirror – smile while doing it!
There are multiple benefits to this. First, when we smile we are using facial muscles, so the more we smile, the more we work those muscles in our favour. Psychologically-speaking, it’s difficult to be sad while we’re actually smiling. Studies have been conducted on this, which show that the physical act of smiling actually ‘tricks’ our brain. Into releasing chemicals that elevate our mood.
Small things really do add up – so making time to invest in yourself each day, even if it’s only one or two of the things listed above, could make a huge difference to how you feel about yourself.